Explore the Bible
January 6 2018
Genesis 32:24-32 (HCSB)
A co-worker told me her nephew knew me. He was my boss’ son and he caused me constant grief. When he made a mess I had to clean it up. When he broke something I had to fix it. When he wanted to go somewhere I had to take him. When he needed someone to blame it was my fault. I remember thinking that if this boy doesn’t grow up and change he will be in prison. To my surprise he became a successful pastor in a wonderful church and had a beautiful family. What a transformation.
God told Jacob to go home to Canaan. He was obedient to God’s command. Jacob had fled 20 years earlier because Esau wanted to kill him. As he considered whether or not Esau had changed Jacob would get involved in a wrestling match that would transform him forever.
Jacob was alone on the bank of the Jabbok River when he encountered a strange man.
He was not having a dream or a vision. He and the man wrestled until daybreak. The man couldn’t defeat Jacob so he dislocated Jacob’s hip. Jacob would not let go of him until he blessed him.
The man asked “What is your name?” Jacob’s name means “heel” but it can also mean “cheater.” The man told Jacob that his name would now be “Israel” because he had struggled with God and men and he had prevailed. Jacob also received the blessing he wanted (Gen. 32:29). Jacob named the place Peniel because he met God face-to-face and lived through it.
Spiritual transformations often accompany times of great struggle. Jacob needed to become what God wanted him to be. All believers need to become what God wants them to be. When we are obedient and yield to Him God can begin the transformation that we need so that we fit into the purpose He has for us.